Mar 6 2008 by Nick Coligan, Liverpool Echo
Is this the last chapter for historic library?
A MOTHBALLED Liverpool library will stay shut for at least another three years to save money.
Lister Drive library, in Tuebrook, was shut down for health and safety reasons in December 2006 after a staff member was hurt in an accident.
Full surveys of the 100-year-old building have shown it needs hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of work to bring it up to modern standards.
Officials previously decided against reopening it because of the risk of further accidents caused by the library’s old-fashioned structure.
No date was set for its reopening, and now it will stay closed for at least another three years as part of this year’s money-saving council budget.
Community leaders criticised the decision, saying the picturesque building should be reopened for Capital of Culture year.
Jonathan Brown, from the Friends of Newsham Park, said: “A library is such a valuable resource in a deprived area.
“What does it say about Capital of Culture when we spend money on big events but cannot afford to get our cultural infrastructure right?
“The council has a good record on libraries and has refurbished those in Old Swan, Kensington and Toxteth very well.
“If it wants to close this one permanently, then we should have that discussion and come up with a future use for the building.
“Otherwise it feels like closure by stealth.”
Cllr Louise Baldock, who represents neighbouring Kensington and Fairfield, said: “Quite apart from the fact it is a listed building, this is not good for people who want to use the library.”
The council today urged residents to use other libraries nearby.
A spokesman said: “Lister Drive library will remain closed, as detailed building surveys have shown that it is structurally unsound and needs many hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of work.
“Customers will be welcomed at the nearby Old Swan library, in Prescot Road, or Larkhill library, in Queens Drive, both of which are just over a mile away.
“A mobile library will also stop weekly outside Lister Drive library.”
Lister Drive library, which opened in 1905, was paid for by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
Its architect Thomas Shelmerdine also designed Wavertree, Everton, Kensington and Toxteth libraries.